By Rick Sallinger

LITTLETON, Colo. (CBS4) – Residents of a senior living apartment building in Littleton have been told they cannot return to their apartments until more testing is done. The Windermere Apartments caught fire on Nov. 17 leaving many units seriously damaged.

windermere apt fire transfer frame 93 More Tests Needed At Senior Apartments Before Residents Can Return

Donald Reisner (credit: CBS)

Among those displaced are 91-year-old Donald Reisner who was a TV repairman for a living. Now, finds himself being interviewed on TV.

“Your 91-year-old body won’t do what a 19-year-old body did,” he told CBS4’s Rick Sallinger as he maneuvered his walker.

windermere apt fire transfer frame 333 More Tests Needed At Senior Apartments Before Residents Can Return

(credit: CBS)

He is among those still unable to return to their apartments more than a week after a deadly fire. At a meeting Tuesday, evacuated residents were told preliminary testing has been done, but more is needed. The state health department will make the final decision on when the residents can return.

“This is stressful, but this is my second time around. I got burned out of the other side two or three years ago,” he said. He was referring to 2016 fire in a different building in the same complex near Littleton Boulevard and Windermere Street.

windermere apt fire transfer frame 543 More Tests Needed At Senior Apartments Before Residents Can Return

(credit: CBS)

This time a fire in one of the units has forced everybody in this senior living building out.

A 70-year-old man was killed, and about a dozen other people were injured in what appears to be an accidental fire.

Andy Boian, a spokesman for the building owners told reporters, “I am terribly sorry for this accident. I’m terribly sorry that it’s Thanksgiving and cold. These people are over 55 and cold and need a place to stay.”

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(credit: CBS)

Residents like Tom Peterson have been living in hotels on vouchers and insurance.

“I’m not going back there now,” he said.

“Where are you going?” Sallinger asked.

“I don’t know,” he replied.

The owners of the Windermere Apartments are refunding part of this month’s rent. As for Donald Reisner, he’s doing quite well for a 91-year-old. He can get around wherever he wants to go by driving on his own.

CBS4’s Rick Sallinger is a Peabody award winning reporter who has been with the station more than two decades doing hard news and investigative reporting. Follow him on Twitter @ricksallinger.

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